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India's Palace on Wheels & Ultimate Rajasthan

(24 reviews)
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An adventure on one of India's famous hotel trains

You are viewing 2020 itinerary. Select departure year
20192020
14 daysFrom $5,905 per person

2020 Tour code: INJ20

About the tour

Magnificent palaces and forts are waiting to be discovered on this Indian rail adventure aboard the Palace on Wheels train. Experience the lifestyle of the Maharajahs as we visit walled cities, marvel at the astonishing Taj Mahal and enjoy tiger spotting in Ranthambore National Park.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Meet your group

We meet at the 4-Star Oberoi Maidens Hotel for a two-night stay, in the heart of New Delhi close to diplomatic missions, shops and historical landmarks.

Delhi
Day 2 - Sightseeing in Delhi

Today is devoted to a fascinating sightseeing tour. We start with an engaging rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi, an explosion of sights, sounds, and activity, and visit the Jama Masjib Mosque. We then go on to New Delhi, passing by President House and Parliament House. We visit Gandhi's Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, before discovering Connaught Square on a walking tour. Finally, we rest and sample high tea at the Imperial Hotel.

Jama Masjid Mosque, Old Delhi
Day 3 - The Toy Train to Shimla

After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the train station to board the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. On arrival, we embark on a scenic journey on the UNESCO listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road. The mountain town of Shimla was 'discovered' by the British in 1817, and was later used as a fashionable retreat from the summer heat thanks to its lovely temperate climate.

Toy Train
Days 4-5 – Shimla

Today, we explore Shimla by car and see sights such as the Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion that was the summer seat of the viceroys of India until the 1940's. After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll along the Mall to the town's Gaiety Theater, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point - so called because it was where people would traditionally meet to gossip.

On Day 5 you are free to explore at leisure. This provides you with a great opportunity to travel further into the Himalayas for majestic views towards the higher, snowcapped mountain peaks of the world's tallest mountain range, followed by a High tea lunch at Wildflower Hall, with walk in gardens.  (please note, these experiences are payable locally).

Shimla
Day 6 – Return to Delhi

We leave Shimla in the morning and travel by road, for the journey back down the mountains through stunning scenery to Chandigarh. Here we join the Shatabdi Express to Delhi, for another night at the Oberoi Maidens Hotel.

Dehli Red Fort
Day 7 – Delhi and the Palace on Wheels

Enjoy a free morning until we make an afternoon visit to Delhi's National Rail Museum, which tells the history of India's railroads. After, we transfer to our hotel train, the Palace on Wheels, for an enchanting journey through the bygone era of the Maharajas. We have time to settle into our comfortable cabins before we enjoy dinner together in the restaurant car as the train heads into the night.

Humayuns Tomb
Day 8 - Jaipur

Our first stop is the capital of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Singh II, this lovely city is often referred to as 'the Pink City' after the buildings were painted pink in the 19th century to celebrate a visit by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. Sightseeing includes the imposing Palace of the Winds, whose ornate façade once enabled the ladies of the royal court to observe life in the street below whilst remaining in 'purdah.' We also visit the magnificent Amber Fort, one of three hilltop forts that dominate the hills above Jaipur, and enjoy lunch at a local restuarant. During the night the train continues east.

Amber Fort, Jaipur
Day 9 - Tigers and Chittorgarh

We leave the train to visit the Ranthambore National Park, to spot tigers, leopards and other native wildlife before we head to Chittorgarh to see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory and the intricate Tower of Fame.

Ranthambore National Park
Days 10-11 - Udaipur and Jaisalmer

The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur this morning. We leave the train for lunch at a local hotel before taking a cruise on Lake Pichola, sailing around the small island and the Lake Palace Hotel, originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur. On our return to Udaipur we rejoin the train.

On Day 11 we arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairytale walled town in the Thar Desert. We explore the narrow, twisting streets of the town center, see beautiful merchants' houses with intricately carved sandstone façades and enjoy a camel ride into the surrounding desert. We dine together onboard before the train departs for Jodhpur.

Udaipur
Day 12 - Jodhpur

Jodhpur is known as the 'Blue City' due to the hue of the houses within the old walls. During a morning tour we see the impenetrable walls of the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone carvings. We enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel and visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph. We rejoin the train and journey towards Agra.

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Day 13 - Agra and the Taj Mahal

This morning we arrive into beautiful Agra, where we disembark the Palace on Wheels for the final time. After leaving the train, we visit Agra Fort, a majestic red sandstone citadel, and the captivating Taj Mahal, the iconic white marble masterpiece. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. This afternoon, we take the Gatimaan Express to Delhi, where we check into the ITC Maurya and enjoy dinner.

The Taj Mahal
Day 14 – Return home

We bid farewell to India today, as you make your way to the airport for your flight home.

Delhi

Additional information

Guest Speaker - Raaja Bhasin

On some departures we enjoy a talk from Raaja Bhasin in Shimla, gaining a detailed insight into the town through its people, history and culture. Known for his unique insight into this region's fascinating heritage, Raaja Bhasin is an acclaimed writer and researcher; most recently serving as a historical consultant on Channel 4's 'Indian Summers' series. Born locally, he is considered an authority on Shimla and the wider area of Himachal Pradesh having written five critically acclaimed books, as well as many articles, stories and even a TedTalk relating to the subject. He has been actively involved in many heritage projects, including the Kalka Shimla Railroad line which is the route you will be traveling along. Thanks to the efforts of Raaja and his team, this route was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008 something that, as we journey through the mountains learning about the distinctive and inspiring engineering that made the line possible, we will soon understand why.

 

Raaja Bhasin
Recommended Airport Arrival

For this tour, we recommend you arrive into Delhi Indira Ghandi Airport (airport code DEL), which is approximately 15 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is Delhi Indira Ghandi Airport (airport code DEL), which is approximately 6 miles from the Safdarjung Railroad Station, where your journey on board the Palace on Wheels concludes.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure times

You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; this is where you will meet your Tour Manager.

Hotels

ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi

ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi

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Maidens Hotel, Delhi

Maidens Hotel, Delhi

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The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

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Trains

Palace on Wheels
Shatabdi Express
Toy Train

Reviews

79% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 24 verified reviews

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Mrs A Liggett

Submitted Dec 21, 2018

The tour was absolutely excellent. The accommodation, the restaurants chosen, the itinerary, were all superb as were the guides everywhere.

Mr D Alcock

Submitted Nov 23, 2018

Hotels and itinery first class.

Mr K Wills

Submitted Nov 16, 2018

Fascinating destinations, well planned, well conducted.,

Mr . Taylor

Submitted Nov 16, 2018

Absolutely fantastic, the whole experience was great, the organisation was superb, the tour manager was so efficient, yet managed to keep a low profile to allow the group to have a wonderful experience, whilst being immediately on hand for any difficulties / questions. The local guides were exceptional, particularly in the First phase of the tour, he was a wonderful man who obviously enjoyed demonstrating his pride in his country, and explained all of the details perfectly, he along with the tour manager are a credit to your organisation.

Anonymous

Submitted May 04, 2018

A magical experience and a great way to journey around this part of India.

Mr S Graham

Submitted Dec 10, 2017

Exciting and fun with plenty of new discoveries each day

Worldwide Vacations by Rail 2019/20

Worldwide Vacations by Rail 2019/20

The definitive guide to our 2019/20 rail tours to a wide range of destinations around the world.

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India's Palace on Wheels & Ultimate Rajasthan

India's famous hotel train adventure

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